Sun power lights municipal buildings in Lincolnville

Live solar log shows energy production, environmental benefits
By Susan Mustapich | Apr 19, 2017
Photo by: Susan Mustapich The town of Lincolnville buys the energy produced by these solar panels owned by ReVision Energy of Portland to power its municipal buildings and facilities.

Lincolnville — An electric car could travel nearly 70,000 miles on the power produced since March by the municipal solar array in Lincolnville.

The solar energy panels located on town-owned property in Lincolnville, and owned by ReVision Energy, have produced more than 14 megawatts, or 14,000 kilowatts, of electricity since installation in January.

The solar panels are installed next to the Lincolnville Central Fire Station on a quarter-acre parcel of town-owned land. The 43.4 kilowatt system is expected to produce enough power to meet municipal needs. In past years, town buildings and facilities have consumed an average of 59,000 kW per year.

The solar array is on target, for the first quarter of 2017, to meet those needs, and to provide enough power to supply electricity to the Town Office, sand/salt storage building, Breezemere Park bandstand, two fire stations, and lighting at Linconville Beach, the harbor and town pier.

The daily, monthly and year-to-date production of solar power can be viewed live on Lincolnville's solar log, which is run by ReVision Energy. In February, the solar array exceeded the target set by ReVision, producing more than the 3.3 MW expected, and in March met the target of 5.43 MW.

Environmental benefits are also depicted on the log, including how many barrels of oil and how many trees have been saved by the solar energy produced. The production of 8.67 tons of carbon dioxide has been avoided by use of solar to date. The log shows graphic illustrations of fun facts, such as how many miles an electric car can travel on 14.27 megawatts of energy. (The answer is 69,936 miles.)

The town of Lincolnville purchases power from ReVision for up to 30 years, under a power purchase agreement. ReVision constructs, operates and owns the solar array. Through the power agreement Lincolnville is currently paying ReVision Energy 13 cents per kilowatt hour.

In 2023, the seventh year of operation, the town of Lincolnville will have the option to buy the solar array from ReVision, at which point it would own the energy produced.

Residents of Lincolnville have shown solid support for the town's use of solar energy.

At a special town meeting in October 2016, residents unanimously approved entering into the agreement with ReVision Energy of Portland.

The town's Energy Committee laid the groundwork for using renewable energy by reviewing the town's electricity usage and needs, and conducting energy audits of municipal buildings. In June 2016, the Energy Committee focused on using solar power to save money on municipal electricity bills, conducting a survey of 12 towns in Maine that use solar-generated power to learn more about their projects. Members of the Energy Committee include Cindy Dunham, Gary and Greta Gulezian, Jim Dunham, Bob Olson, Rich Smith, and Kathy and John Williams.

The Lincolnville Community Library, which opened in 2014, is already powered by solar energy. Thirty solar panels on the roof generate all the electricity the library needs. The library received a grant from Efficiency Maine to support the installation of the solar panels and development of educational programs about renewable resources, according to the library website.

The city of Belfast has an agreement with ReVision Energy, which installed a 180-panel array atop the Belfast Fire Station and a solar array on a capped landfill.

The town of Camden recently agreed to finalize a PPA with ReVision Energy and to move forward with a proposal to locate a 120-kilowatt system, with 360 solar panels, on one acre of largely town-owned property off of Route 1 called Sagamore Farm.

Courier Publications reporter Susan Mustapich can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at smustapich@villagesoup.com.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Kevin Riley | Apr 21, 2017 11:32

A lot of your questions are asnwered in teh article.



Posted by: Sonja Sleeper | Apr 21, 2017 11:15

I have a few questions.  What is the cost of the system  or Does ReVision pay for the equipment, installation and maintenance of the array and user just pay the electric bill?  Is the land where the solar array is to be installed tax exempt to ReVision, or does ReVision pay rent or a use fee on that land? The 13 cents a kilowatt hour, is that the whole charge or are there other fees attached? You know like power grid users, yes we can pick who we buy electricity from but also have to pay CMP a fixed delivery fee rate on top of the cost for the power itself.

 



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